NEWSFLASH: Decree issued by the President of the Council of Ministers - 22nd March 2020

23 Mar 2020

The Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (DPCM) approved on 22nd March 2020 saw the Italian government introduce further measures for the containment and management of the COVID-19 health emergency. These measures will apply nationwide.

The government’s further intervention was rendered necessary considering the latest developments in the public health emergency, the particularly diffusive nature of the epidemic, and the increase of cases nationally. 

In particular, the following further restrictive measures have been introduced:

  • Suspension of all commercial/retail and manufacturing activities, except for those listed in Annex 1 of the DPCM, and with the additional exception of those listed from 1 to 6 below. Companies whose businesses are suspended will have until 25th March 2020 to complete any activity considered “necessary” at the time of suspension, including the shipment of goods in stock.
  • A ban on the movement of people across municipalities, whether by means of public or private transport, other than for non-deferrable and proven business or health reasons or other urgent matters.

In any case, the following business activities are still permitted: 

  • Commercial/retail and manufacturing activities if they can be performed at a distance or remotely through flexible working practices (e.g. “smart working");
  • Activities considered essential to supply chains in order to guarantee the continuity of businesses that haven’t been suspended (pursuant to Annex 1 of the DPCM), as well as of public services and essential services; 
  • Businesses which provide public services, as well as essential services (however, museums and other cultural institutes and sites remain closed to the public, and educational and training services suspended, unless provided remotely);
  • The production, transport, sale and delivery of pharmaceuticals, health technologies and medical/surgical devices, as well as food and agricultural products;
  • Activities of factories with continuous production processes, the suspension of which would cause serious harm to the factory or create an accident hazard;
  • Manufacturing activities in the aerospace and defence sectors, as well as any other activities of strategic importance to the national economy, subject to prior authorisation from the Prefect of the province in which the manufacturing activities are carried out.

It should be noted that unlike the requirements for the activities listed under point 6 above, in order to continue the activities listed in 2 and 5 above, it is sufficient to give notice of such continuation to the Prefect of the province in which the manufacturing activities are carried out. 

The Prefect may suspend the aforementioned activities should he/she find that the necessary conditions have not been met for their continuing performance. Until such action is taken however, the activities will be considered lawfully performed on the basis of the notice sent to the Prefect. 

The provisions of the Decree will apply from 23rd March 2020 to 3rd April 2020.

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For queries relating specifically to the employment law issues posed by COVID-19, please contact our dedicated task force, coordinated by our partners Aldo Bottini and Lea Rossi (, or your usual contact at the firm.